Pubdate: Thu, 04 Jul 2002
Source: Standard, The (St. Catharines, CN ON)
Copyright: 2002, The Standard
Author: Seth Cairns


The legalization of marijuana would be the smartest thing we have ever 
done. Lane is correct, the Niagara region does have an escalating drug and 
crime problem.

Only marijuana is not the drug and the crime is our own fault. Making the 
laws harsher on marijuana growers and users is not the answer. I agree 
entirely with Marc Emery of the Vancouver Marijuana Party, who said "the 
risk costs involved in smuggling and trafficking marijuana leads to 
artificially high profits and criminal involvement in the drug trade. These 
risk costs are a direct result of police arresting people for selling drugs."

If the money is there to be made, then someone is going to do it. The 
legalization of marijuana would mean the government could control the 
amount being produced, the cost and the sale. How often do you hear of 
someone growing tobacco to sell on the black market? If there's no money to 
be made, no one will bother.

Right now in the U.S., 700 out of every 100,000 citizens are in prison as 
opposed to 115 in Canada and 50 in Europe. Canada cannot afford to make the 
same mistakes as our neighbour. Every penny used chasing and prosecuting 
minor drug offenders like marijuana growers, could be used in other places. 
Our Ontario (especially St. Catharines) health-care system could definitely 
use some work.

If you are so concerned with the effects drugs and alcohol have on your 
children, maybe you should try being parents and educate your children on 
the long-term effects of their decisions.

Everyone has the right to make the choice whether they are going to smoke 
or drink. Why can't we decide whether we want to smoke marijuana?

Seth Cairns

Roehampton Avenue

St. Catharines
- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth